Turbo Trainer & Solar Panels

Bought as house with a garage. Garage doesn’t have power. Want to power turbo with solar panels. Can it be done and will it mess up my TT?

I can’t run a power line because it backs onto next doors garden

Edit; Wahoo KickR Core

Solar will be limited by daylight time, which is shortest just when you might need it most in the winter. Here, sun comes up at like 8 in December, and I usually ride at 6am. Afternoon sun goes down at 4:30. Seems like you might really limit your riding time at the time you really want it most.

You’d need panel(s), an inverter (Solar produces DC, inverter converts to usable AC), battery for off daylight time and a charge controller if you go that route, breakers, fuses and connections or adapters to power the trainer. While you could do small loads, and maybe they make kits for this, it seems expensive for a somewhat severe limitation. I’d think there’s an easier, less expensive way? A series of extension cords maybe?

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Dam it. I wanted to avoid extension cords but looks like I don’t have a choice. Maybe with time I’ll ask the neighbor but I doubt he’ll let me run a cable across his wall

There are solar systems out there for RVs that might work. But again, you might be talking $150-200 bare minimum for something that at best only works for 8-12 hrs a day (assuming no rain?).

Core’s Power spec needs 100-240V, 50-60hz, and draws ~1.5A.

Did a little more digging and I think you’d need at least a 360W panel to power a Core to full capability. Those are out there, but the panel alone is $100 at cheapest, up to probably $400.

Some smarter guy might come along with a better solution, though. I’m just killing time waiting for a haircut!

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I really appreciate that, thank you. At least I know what it needs etc. Might be better to build a pain cave at the end of the garden than use the garage :slight_smile:

Sounds to me like you need a new house. And a new bike just to be safe.


Haha! I’d also need a new head because the other half would take it off :joy:

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A tacx neo works without being plugged in if you are really stuck.


I know for camping you can get rechargeable power batteries which I would imagine would last a few hours with a CORE going as well as keeping a light on and maybe a computer.

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Yeah, a deep cycle battery, or perhaps a heavy duty Uninterruptable Power Supply is probably the cheaper option - although you would need to charge it from the mains and carry it over to your garage every few days.

I design solar power systems for a living so here are some ideas.
I would bypass the AC completely since the unit runs off of DC so use a DC source. The adaptor on my Kickr is rated 12Volts/5Amps and I assume the core uses the same adaptor. So you need a 12V battery that can supply up to 5A for as long as your longest ride. It probably draws less current than 5A in actual use. This can be measured or perhaps Wahoo support would provide the actual dc current draw.
Anyway, for a 2 hour ride, the battery needs to supply max 5A for 2 hours: that’s 10Ah from the battery. Batteries are rated in Ampere-hours. The number of amps x the hours of use.
Search for a portable 12V battery with the Ah rating that fits your needs. You can charge it in your home and carry it to the garage.
If you want to use solar, you need solar panel(s), charge controller and battery. The more solar power, the faster you can charge the battery.


As both Tacx Neo & Tacx Bushido can do almost everything without power I bet the power use is tiny. Do you have a device that measures current? If you can use a screwdriver and strip cables a Sonoff Pow is only about £8. I think that’s the cheapest one I can think of.

Then just use an spare old car battery (assuming both battery & Kickr are 12V). Every now and again re-charge the battery using a battery charger.

Recently realised you can get battery powered fans from manufacturers of cordless power tools. They use the same battery as the power tools. Assume they’re okay powered if they’re used on worksites. I might get a Makita one if I see them cheap

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Is there an idiot’s guide on how to rig this up? I have a similar issue and would much prefer to just use a leisure battery to power my Direto and a fan rather than have cable trailing out to my garage (separate from my property). My garage is south facing so in a good location to use a solar trickle charger. I’m competent with UK home electrics but never worked with 12v supplies.

Seems like there is a demand for self-charging smart trainers! Come on Wahoo get on it.

I think the Stac trainers run on their own (rechargeable) batteries.

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Can it run everything in the shed? If I’m putting out 250w I could run the turbo, the tv(120w) and the fan (80w). Would be good incentive not to stop early

For an hour? Unfortunately even the best equipment will convert and store only a fraction of that.

I’m sure there are engineers on there that have the stats.

Hmm good point - wasn’t being serious but looking at bicycle dynamos are 80% efficient so maybe

You could probably just get a solar battery maintainer from your local auto-factors/halfords. You would find out pretty fast if the panel was big enough or not. It would be a starting point at least.

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